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The Forum > Article Comments > The ABC of fat and thin down under > Comments

The ABC of fat and thin down under : Comments

By Raj Patel, published 1/10/2007

The hunger of 800 million is outnumbered by the one billion people on this planet who are overweight.

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"the corporations that sell our food shape and constrain how we eat"
Oh please....people do have a brain and can make their own choices.

"The limitations are clearest at the fast food outlet, where the spectrum of choice runs from McMuffin to McNugget. "
There are plenty of other choices besides Maccas, people just like it.

"These are reasons why we wont find Calville Blanc, Black Oxford, Zaberga Reinette, Kandil Sinap or the ancient and venerable Rambo on the shelves."
They don't sell perhaps? You mean people don't actually choose them?

"the menu is crafted not by our choices"
Sure it isn't...

"how our lives force us to consume so much of the wrong kind of food"
I think people need to take responsibility for their choices, nobody is forcing them to stuff themselves with Big Macs.

You could always grow your own. What a load of gumph!
Posted by alzo, Tuesday, 2 October 2007 9:45:42 AM
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Whatever happened to join-the-dots logic? Isn't it taught in schools any more?

>>Global hunger and obesity are symptoms of the same problem<<

It isn't explicitly stated, but I assume we are talking about these "food corporations" being the problem?.

>>Guided by the profit motive, the corporations that sell our food shape and constrain how we eat, and how we think about food<<

It would be interesting to hear from the author, what he considers to be a viable alternative to our food being sourced, transported and made available to us by corporations that are "guided by the profit motive"? The government, perhaps?

>>...shopping for apples. At supermarkets in North America and Europe, the choice is restricted to half a dozen varieties... Why these? Because theyre pretty<<

How about "because they are what the apple-eating public actually buys"? Where is the common sense in creating an entire supply chain, from tree to shopping bag, of apples that the public doesn't buy? There is after all no suggestion that the alternatives proposed will be any more nutritious, or any cheaper, than those already on the shelves. Choice for choice's sake? Not very practical.

>>Our choices are not entirely our own because, even in a supermarket, the menu is crafted not by our choices, nor by the seasons, nor where we find ourselves, nor by the full range of apples available, nor by the full spectrum of available nutrition and tastes but by the power of food corporations.<<

Hold on a moment. All these attributes - "our choices... the seasons... where we find ourselves... the full range of apples available... spectrum of nutrition and tastes" are exactly those taken into consideration by the food companies. They then need to pass a profitability test, for sure. But every aspect is considered, otherwise, no sale, no profit.

To contrast an overweight nation with a hungry one right next to it, is totally valid. But it has to do with us people, not those nasty corporations.
Posted by Pericles, Tuesday, 2 October 2007 10:42:43 AM
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Great article.

I've been giving this topic a lot of thought in recent times and I've certainly been challenged to consider what changes I can make to my consumer habits and diet.
Posted by Liz, Wednesday, 3 October 2007 10:53:22 PM
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